Kennedy Cup Day 2 2018-06-12 10:09:00


             MONDAY 11TH JUNE 2018

We were given the chance of a lie-in up until 10.30am this morning but everyone was up and about well before that.

House 8 has Table Tennis. Zak has been practising for months but it is impossible to get Sam off it until David hammered him!

It appears that House 7 has a Jacuzzi and a Sauna. None of the other houses have that. Those boys are only raging!

House 7 also has a Bird’s Nest in their porch over the front door and the birds fly in and out as people come and go. You could not pay for this type of Accommodation! Abdul got very excited when he heard that there were birds hanging about House 7 but was bitterly disappointed to find that they had feathers! That was a hard one to swallow! Swallow! Get it? Look, I’m doing the best I can here with very limited material.

Breakfast was taken in each House. Remarkably some Coco Pops survived the night!

Rory arrived bright and early. Rory is our Chef. It will be strange not to have Norman and just when he was beginning to get the hang of it with Terry and Kevin seeing him through his long apprenticeship over all those years. Thanks Norman for everything and Rory is welcome to join the team. Already he has fitted in brilliantly and Shane H thinks he is in heaven in House 11.

Then there was some quiet time before we went for a walk. Nothing too strenuous. Just a stroll and a few stretches.

Then we had Lunch. Rory makes a huge impression with his Pasta & Chicken and all is very well with the world. Abdul and Shane K made guest appearances!

Then it was back to the Houses and to bed for some rest and sleep if it comes. Jason U had no problem in that department and said he felt like a new man.

Our physio David is now in situ and open for business and has a few willing volunteers. All to make sure these boys can be the best that they can be.

At about 3ish we have our pre-match snack. It is either a chicken and salad wrap or some hard boiled eggs and/or fruit. It is getting close now.

It is great to see Terry and Clive here and they have injected huge enthusiasm into the preparations. Clive has managed two Kennedy Cup teams in his time and did such a fantastic job with our Under-12’s this year. His enthusiasm is infectious and his confidence is contagious. The wonder of the Kennedy Cup. There is huge activity about the place. Loads of traffic and people. A great buzz. And all here for the Kennedy Cup. The Hearld newspaper has a special supplement for the Kennedy Cup. A giant screen has been erected near the pitches. It is nearly upon us. Love it!

Then we got the rest of our gear for the game and then into the Team Meeting.

This was good. We are focused and ready.

We made the short walk to Pitch 2. There were still matches going on and so we had loads of time. We did a good warm-up and stretches and then got out on the pitch. We were flying and we carried that into the game.

    ADSL     1    :   SOUTH TIPP LEAGUE    1

We made a great start, scoring inside the very first minute.

Danny made a telling run at the heart of their defence with the ball falling kindly to Shane H who did very well to follow up to score for a lead goal. 1-0! What a start!

In only the third minute Rian made a powerful run down the right and then put in a super cross which Shane H met, first time, with a low volley that scrapped the post in hitting the side netting.

One minute later it was Sam who made a surging run and then played a great ball again to Shane H who pulled the ball back when he might better have pulled the trigger himself.

South Tipp had their first meaningful attack two minutes later but their Number 7’s shot was comfortably saved by Cian.

On 15 minutes Shane H put in a great delivery from a corner but Shane K’s header was cleared off the line. We really could have been 3 or 4 up!

Just before Half-time Cian had to be very alert to come out to clear his lines but in the next play South Tipp found an equaliser. We lost a winnable challenge and the ball was crossed more in hope than design but their big No. 9 was very clever in isolating himself with Ben and there was going to be only one winner there with his looping header going over Cian and into the net. 1 – 1.

We had one more chance before the break when Shane H got on the end of some good work by Sam but his low shot was well saved.

Into the second half Danny forced two quick half chances in quick succession but he was closed down each time.

Five minutes in Rian released Shane H down the right but his first touch made his angle harder with his low shot flying across the face of the goal.

The longer the game went on the more nervy it became. They were not without their chances. They won a free kick just outsid the box. Their No. 9 hit it around the wall but Cian got down to it but only to parry it away. Their No. 8 was quickest to follow up but somehow from under the crossbar he put it over hitting the crossbar in the process. This was a big let off for us.

With just over 5 minutes to go Shane H might have won it for us but their keeper made an outstanding point blank save.

That would not be the last meaningful chance of the game. They went on the attack and a cross from the left was met at the back post for what seemed a far post tap-in. The big Tipp crowd went mad but their cheers stuck in the back of their throats with the Assistant raising a flag for offside. It was a very marginal decision but we got a serious rub of the green here. We could have won. Perhaps we should have won. We might have lost!

We had some very good individual performances. Shane K and Zak were immense at the back. Biyi ran himself into the ground. Ben was Ben – consistently good! Shane H was excellent. We played well in spots but never really put them under sustained pressure and allowed them back into the game. They were delighted with the point and towards the end were time wasting to secure that draw. A little bizarre in the first Group game.

Over on the other pitch the DDSL were 4-0 winners over Carlow.

For us we have mixed feelings. We wanted to win our first game but this result clarifies matters for tomorrow and particularly in our first game –v- Carlow.  We simply must win!

Is that too much pressure to put on a young person? But that is the level we are at. It all comes down to the Carlow game.

After the game we went to the Pool for a recovery session. That got us going again.

Then it was back to Kilmurry Village for dinner. Wow! This was amazing. Home made burgers, mashed spuds and assorted vegetables including carrot, broccalli and cauliflower all with a most amazing pepper sauce. Rory take a bow. Wonderful food with plates in some cases licked clean!

There was time for physio before our Team Meeting.

Our position tomorrow is stark! Win and all is changed. Lose and this could be a long and trying week. It is black and white. We know what we must do tomorrow. We will need to play the game of our lives and then some to salvage some respect.

Roll on tomorrow.

Thanks to all who gave us such fantastic support tonight. Really appreciated but we will need you tomorrow.

Pitch 7 which is on Astro-Turf up in the North Campus will decide our fate tomorrow at 12.30pm.

Can we turn this around?


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